I’ve recently discovered a trick to getting those smooth looking waterfall photos without throwing out money for a neutral density filter. Since I’ve been asked a couple times about it I decided to just go ahead and make a simple tutorial. You will need Adobe Photoshop for this. So, lets get going!
To start out, you will need to get pictures of your waterfall. You will want to set your camera on a tripod and take multiple photos using your continuous shooting. I shot the photos in this tutorial at: 100 ISO, f22, and 1/13 shutter speed. Since it was a bright afternoon I set my ISO and aperture to the lowest possible and then experimented with the shutter speed to get to the longest i could go without being over exposed. Using my continuous mode, I took 6 photos.
Open Photoshop and add all your photos in as layers. You will need to rasterize all your layers as well –> right click on your layer and choose ‘rasterize layer’.
Select all layers. Go to Edit –> Auto-Align Layers
With your layers still selected, go to Layer –> Smart Objects –> Convert to Smart Object.
Then, go to Layer –> Smart Object –> Stack Mode –> Mean
You may need to crop your edges a bit but otherwise you are DONE! Simple, right?
I did take my image back into Lightroom to edit it a bit but that is totally up to you! Here was my final result: